Zoos and Aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, like the Phoenix Zoo, are sharing their favorite memories using the hashtag #IMissMyZoo.
We put a call out earlier in the week for you to share your favorite memories and photos with us and we received hundreds of amazing messages. We wanted to share as many of them as we could.
We miss you and cannot wait to welcome you back.
Your Zoo Stories
When we got to feed the stingrays and how slimy they were. It was fun!
My favorite thing is that this is the Zoo that inspired me to want to work in animal conservation. My love of all animals bloomed at the Phoenix Zoo. I made my parents take me multiple times every year and for every birthday. The Zoo was my happy place, and it’s where I went when college got hard for me. I’ve since moved away, but I go every time I’m back in Arizona. I have yet to find a Zoo I love as much as this one. Thanks for ALL the memories!
I have so many great memories at the Zoo, from my first volunteer day to my first job there. But one of my favorite memories was meeting Felix, a white-faced Saki monkey, during one of my Primate Volunteer Keeper Assistant days.
Our daughter, Kate, watching the live Roars and Pours at dinner last week!
Every time I come to the Zoo is a special memory. One time when I was training with Mike Foley, we got to go behind-the-scenes at Stingray Bay, and the keeper showed us new baby sharks. I also loved feeding the giraffes and helping put on puppet shows with the amazing and talented puppet ladies. The Zoo is my ultimate happy place and one of Phoenix’s treasures!
There’s no way to pick just one memory! I’ve been a member since I moved here, and the Zoo has always been my happy place. My mom used to take me to the local zoo when I was growing up, and I have since taken my girls and now my grandson. My grandson just loves all the animals, but the orangutans most of all. He got all excited when his aunt met us at the Zoo earlier this year, as she and her boyfriend took him to see the snakes.
So many memories! I’ve been taking my kids to the Zoo since they were born, and now they’re 22! My favorite thing about the Zoo is how the Zoo has grown so beautifully, just as my little animals have! We have loved watching it and being a part of it.
My favorite memory is feeding the flamingos on a Backstage Adventure Tour!
Penny the horse saying hello, she was so sweet! I love the Horse Hands program!
So hard to choose, but one of my favorite memories would have to be hearing all the wolves howling at once during a night camp! They were so loud, I thought it was the other hiking group being rowdy.
My husband and I had our first date at the Zoo, and three years later got engaged at the Zoo. We get Zoo passes every year for Christmas.
My mom used to work at the Zoo before I was born. We used to go a lot when I was little with my grandparents and cousin. I took my little boy and husband there just last year – hadn’t been in forever. One of my memories was on the train that was there. I always thought it was so cool when I was little. My son is now obsessed with the goats!
All of my daughter’s camp experiences. She wants to be a vet and just loves the Zoo! We love our gifted animal membership too from someone who loves us in Texas.
As a volunteer orangutan host I never thought Bess knew who I was. When I came to see Jiwa for the first time, Bess looked straight at me and ran right up in front of me turning Jiwa toward the glass so I could get a good look at him. She would look at him, then at me and then back at him. She was showing me her baby! She did this for about a month, and I will never forget how proud she looked.
One time my granddaughter and I were near the lions when we heard a roar. We didn’t know which one was out, and my granddaughter ran to see who it was. She said, “Nana, Cookie knows you are here, and she is calling you to come see her!” We went to see her, and my granddaughter asked Cookie if she was happy to see us. She roared, and my girl was all excited she answered her. That was cool.
As a member of the Phoenix Zoo for many years, I have many wonderful memories with my children when they were young. Now that I am a grandma, it is so special for me to enjoy it with my granddaughter, Camila. I am pretty sure she will grow up loving the Phoenix Zoo like me!
We stumbled on a keeper giving Reba apples a couple months ago. We were so close to her, it was special!
October 21, 2016: My daughter and Jiwa are just a few months apart. After her first trip to the Zoo in early 2015, we got her a stuffed orangutan and named it Jiwa. She loves to bring it to the Zoo, and on this specific trip, Jiwa really seemed to love looking at the stuffed look-a-like! She wasn’t old enough to remember, but it was certainly a moment I will never forget! We miss the Zoo and can’t wait to come back! Stay safe and healthy!
I gain a new memory every time I would go. We have a membership, and we would go once every weekend. I miss those sweet faces.
We love hanging out with the orangutans! They come up to look at my girls quite often, and it is always a fun experience!
The great Kitambi. Always an awesome experience to see him.
I was in Phoenix in August 2016 and went to the Zoo first thing in the morning to try and avoid the heat of the day. Little did I know, it was going to be a scorcher from the time the sun came up. I still had a wonderful time wandering around. My favorite photo I got was a tiger beating the heat in the pool. I can’t wait to return some day.
One of my mom and I’s favorite places to spend a day. The Zoo will always have special memories. We loved Lunch with the Giraffes. Thank you, Zookeeper Bill, for an awesome time!
Bailey attended camp as a ZooTeen volunteer in 2018. She is heartbroken that her final year has been cut short. The Phoenix Zoo will always be a very special place to her.
I’ve been visiting the Phoenix Zoo my whole life – 55 years. My daughter was practically raised there.
An animal I feared (stingrays) became one of my favorite species at the Zoo! Going in the water with them was such an amazing experience!
My daughter and I have attended a few of the Lunch with a Keepers, and she loves them! Feeding the giraffes was one of her favorites, and she can’t wait to attend another program!
When the new orangutan exhibit first opened. I went in, and Bess was sitting by the glass. I put my open hand on the glass, and she looked right at me and put her hand against mine. An awesome experience!
Some of my best childhood memories were at the Phoenix Zoo. I especially loved Bess and the rest of the orangutans!
I love the solitude there, it’s quiet and peaceful from the outside world. You can enjoy the Zoo at your pace.
Seeing the wolf pups for the first time was my favorite!
I oversee planning our company picnic each year, and when I learned you can add animal encounters to your party, I requested a tawny frogmouth!
We were visiting our son a couple summers ago and spent a morning at the Zoo. It was at least 105 degrees—so hot! Our flamingos at our Columbus Zoo are more of an orangey-red. I was surprised to see such pink flamingos. I just started and stared at them. We loved our visit to the Phoenix Zoo!
Around 25 years ago my buddy and I went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Zoo with the Arizona Turtle and Tortoise Society. We got to see a lot of your breeding and rescue programs and animals not on exhibit including a snapping turtle you guys pulled out of your pond. We got to pet the tortoises too. It was great.
My friend just got married and had her reception at the Zoo. I loved meeting the owl!
The pelicans had chicks on their own little island. I was extremely excited!
When setting up for Camp Zoo in the summer, I always loved hearing the gibbons in the morning.
My kiddos love the Zoo. We've been members going on seven years now!
Miss our Zoo so much! My son had his second birthday here!
Playing peek-a-boo with Michael. He was hiding behind one of the legs of his tree house and would look out from one side. I would lean over, and he would lean back to the other side of the leg until I leaned the other way. We did that for about 10 minutes until other people came in.
Visiting just a month ago, right before all this craziness! It was such a beautiful day.
Working the deck! One of my most excellent memories!
Working at the Zoo from 2005-2009 and being able to hire the first staff members at Stingray Bay. Great memories!